Following Hallel Ariel’s brutal murder in 2016, her mother has published a meaningful book for bat mitzvah girls and their mothers in her daughter’s memory.
By Tsivya Fox, United With Israel
The cold-blooded murder of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel shocked and pained the nation of Israel and anyone with a heart.
It was the start of the 2016 summer vacation and Hallel had just danced beautifully in a recital the night before. Nobody could imagine that this would be the budding artist’s last performance.
A 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist infiltrated Hallel’s family home in the Judean community of Kiryat Arba and repeatedly stabbed the young girl, brutally murdering her as she was sleeping.
An anonymous producer created this clip of Hallel’s last dance, performed the night before her murder.
Hallel’s mother Rena showed herculean strength at the time, and she continues to inspire. Resolving to keep her daughter’s memory alive, Rena encourages people to increase kindness and good deeds throughout the world in memory of her daughter.
The family, who still lives in Kiryat Arba, maintains an educational center and vineyard near their home from which they make and sell wine. Called “Kerem Hallel” (Hallel’s Vineyard), the area has an abundance of vines and grapes. Grapes are one of the fruits for which the Land of Israel is specifically praised in the Torah, and Hallel’s name means “praise.”
In an article Rena wrote titled “Just One Candle,” the mourning mother notes that vines and grapes symbolize deep roots in the Land and the sanctity and blessings of wine. Vines grip the ground symbolizing victory and resilience in the face of suffering and pain.
A new project has just been completed to help keep Hallel’s memory alive and increase goodness in the world. A unique, inspiring book was published to help bat mitzvah girls and their mothers develop into the best people they can be.
Rena, a social worker by profession, and her sister Tziporah Piltz, who lives in Jerusalem, created this meaningful workbook.
Called “Pirkei Hallel,” the 12-chapter book, which was originally published in Hebrew last year and has sold 4,000 copies to date, has now come out in English. It is meant to be enjoyable while providing information and inspiration for 12-year-old bat mitzvah girls and their mothers.
Included is an age-appropriate comic section that introduces the reader to Hallel’s unique personality; her warm character traits, shining light, hard work, beautiful dancing, warmth and love, favorite activities, and even some of the challenges she faced during her short life.
The authors hope that the comics will be a catalyst for bat mitvah girls to internalize Hallel’s story, learn from her sparkling personality and better connect people with their unique inner selves.
Pirkei Hallel is uniquely laid out. Included are thought-providing and heartfelt essays for mothers as well as study pages, individual and joint activities, pages to write personal reflections, and more. Some of the included topics reflect the importance of performing good deeds, showing gratitude, appreciating beauty, and prayer.
“There is some comfort in knowing that Hallel enjoyed a wonderful and meaningful bat mitzvah year with her family and friends,” Rena told United With Israel. “We hope that Pirkei Hallel will do the same for girls and their mothers.”
Rena busily tours, lectures and provides activities for groups of mothers and daughters to promote Pirkei Hallel in both Hebrew and English. All profits from the book are dedicated to the “Kerem Hallel” charity organization.
‘Do Something for Israel’
Following Hallel’s funeral, Rena asked the public to visit to Kiryat Arba, saying, “We invite everyone to come and help, to console; there are vineyards which need help, there are Jews here who need strengthening. We are strong, and we won’t break, but we need your help to continue and to build here.”
Similarly, for the second anniversary of Hallel’s passing, Rena posted a message on social media that went viral. She called on supporters to do something for Israel in the wake of the tragic anniversary. “Give yourselves a moment to think today. To ask what can be done for our incredible nation and our wonderful land in order to enhance life here. We will build up national strength, social strength and spiritual strength.” she wrote.
Next week will be the third anniversary of Hallel’s death. People are being asked to increase their good deeds in her memory, which is the goal of Pirkei Hallel.
May Hallel’s memory be for a blessing.
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